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Pets
Charlie


      Youth, strength, and simple ways allowed us to venture into the magnitude of that great city, Dallas, Texas.  It took a while, but after not too long, we discovered it was a lot like living in a small town. The neighborhood extended to a shopping place where all one's needs were met as far as shopping was concerned. Only a short distance away there was a movie theater.  At the time it  wasn't too far to drive to Fair Park where great museums provided an exciting new wealth of knowledge. Wherever one's  region was became the center of living and life. This could actually be rather compact and small.

       The only thing to be missed was our family. There were so many people one would think companionship might be easy to have. However, like all parts of the country there is  already established order. Each group has their own little comfortable clique according to whatever the situation might be. This might go to their trade or profession, religion, race or something. Usually, even if a person had a likeable personality they were still involved with their own lifestyle and it wasn't possible to break into that.  A newcomer into the town has to work to settle into a  slot. Fortunately for Delsey,  art was a place for her,  part of the time. Friendly association on club nights was possible at that place.

       Most of her making of friends was worked into the time with her religious activities and people in that circle.  One woman especially had been a strong force and support along those lines.  She opened her home to Delsey's  little family many times and they were able to enjoy that woman's already settled family and friends. The extended hand of friendship was greatly appreciated by the young woman. So much so that when years later they had returned to the city for a brief bit of business Delsey requested she have a visit with her former friend.  She knew the woman was always active so the younger woman in her romantic belief in the power of roses had her husband stop to pick up a bouquet of the Texas roses vendors often sold along the street.

        At her friend's home had a patio adjoining the back door. It was glassed with the thought going to that of  being another room, only outdoors.  Here on a glassed table top Delsey left the small bouquet of flowers along with a note telling her friend they would be back that evening when they were free.  The yard around the patio was inhabited with the feeling of Maggie's presence. Delsey remembered the lovely moments her family had shared here with her friend. The trees drooped their branches over the circle of the space. A fragrant hedge of some variety blocked the traffic of the city. This could have been a quiet country retreat nestled away from the hurry and worry of the metropolis.

        That evening when they returned to Maggie's home the woman greeted them with open arms.

        “You can't imagine how wonderful it was to get your little bouquet of flowers.  Of course, you didn't know we were at Mother's funeral.”

        “Oh no! I'm so sorry. No, we didn't know.”  In her own mind Delsey was grateful for her having the will to insist they stop in heavy traffic long enough to pick up the little buds of burgundy colored roses.

         When they had to cut their time short in order to turn toward the long roads back to Oklahoma Delsey very lonely all at once. The funeral of the woman's mother brought the reality of time suddenly upon the younger woman.

        As if Maggie knew Delsey's thoughts she suddenly turned to stop from their walk toward the car.

        “Wait!  Just a moment she said.  “I want you to meet Charley.”

        Maggie whistled a soft little call.

        There floating down from a branch of one of the trees was a dove. His wings were spread as he dropped softly down toward Maggie. His eyes and head were focused as he targeted his landing directly onto her outstretched finger.

       “Oh my!  What a beautiful bird!”  Delsey was astonished.  “How on earth did you tame him?”

       “We raised him from a baby after he dropped out of a nest.   He never left us. I began whistling to him when he was tiny. I guess he never forgot.”

        As the family drove the long,  but not so long,  roads back to their home Delsey knew she would never see Maggie again. However,  one of the fine personality traits the woman had she left for them. A beautiful scene of fragrant hedges, drooping trees, outdoor patio, and soft warm southern ways would stay with them. Most of all there was the gliding, dropping, flight of a wild  pet dove called Charlie. The tiny paradise in the back yard of her friend's home spoke to anyone who entered the space.  Charlie seemed to be  a promise of what could be. One only had to call the memory up to again to feel the very peaceful ambiance of a cool oasis. If it was known Dallas had once been hot prairie lands filled with Mesquite this space  was all the more of a pleasure to be remembered.


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